Writers at the Centre of the Contemporary Literary Scene

Student Writer | Katie Philippou

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Looking for something fresh to read? Here is a short guide to contemporary writers who are sure to keep the fantastic reads coming:

Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney is new onto the Irish literary scene. She was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2017 and has only just started. Rooney’s first novel Conversations with Friends(2017) is perfectly pitched for our readers, because it details the struggles and relationships of two university students and has been described as ‘Salinger for the Snapchat generation’. Her second novel Normal People (2018) was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and won Irish Novel of the Year. Her career has quickly gained momentum and she is capturing the attention of many.

Kyle Minor Author
Kyle Minor Author of In the Devil’s Territory(2008) and Praying Drunk(2014), Minor is the author to go to for short fiction. Although dark, his latest collection Praying Drunkis powerful. According to the New York Times it is ‘less a collection than an extended prayer, wrenched from the heart and wrought in the language of pain’. It will be exciting to see what future collections will bring.

Lisa Halliday
Lisa Halliday’s debut novel Asymmetry(2018) has been described as ‘a literary phenomenon’ by the New York Times. It begins with a story of a love affair which develops against a backdrop of world events. It then moves on to a new narrator with a different relationship to the world. According to the Guardian ‘this is a debut asking a dizzying number of questions, many to thrilling effect’. Asymmetry’s amazing reception has announced the arrival of a cutting-edge writer.

Ali Smith
Ali Smith is a versatile and gripping author who is demanding the attention of readers with her experimental style and forthright attitude. In an interview with the Guardian, she asserted that ‘fiction is one of our ways of telling the truth’ which is vital to keep in mind in a world where the line between truth and falsehood is so blurred. She was the winner of the 2015 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction with her novel How to Be Both(2014) and four of her novels have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. These achievements are merely snapshots of her successful career to date, but I suspect there are more to come. Autumn(2016) and Winter(2017) are the first two books to be published in a series of four. Fans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring(2019) and Summer(publication year to be announced).

David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas(2012) is one of Mitchell’s seven published novels and is simply one of those must-read contemporary novels. He is an author with great longevity, evidenced by his participation in a project called Future Library Project. His contribution is his eighth novel From Me Flows What You Call Time, which will be published in the year 2114. The Future Library Project was started in Norway by Katie Paterson. A forest in Norway is to supply the paper for an anthology of books which will be published in a century. One writer each year will write a book to contribute. David Mitchell is among three other writers so far to contribute to the project (other writers include Margaret Atwood and Sjón).

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